Wednesday, December 31, 2014

reflections on 2014


10 Highlights, Accomplishments, Best Memories:
1. Niagara Falls trip with Mr. Gryce
2. Watching my brother cut, rake and bale his first crop of hay
3. Tons of tutoring work
4. Summer walks with Mr. Gryce
5. Time spent with Kristin and Tanya
6. Hosting our first family dinner since we got married
7. Seeing my niece 3 evenings a week
8. Seeing Mr. Gryce and my brother continue to bond
9. Finishing the downstairs renos
10. Being happily married after all these years of renovations

10 Disappointments, Failures, Missed Opportunities:
1. Not exercising like I wanted to
2. Working with our contractor(s)
3. Not getting the job I wanted
4. Going over-budget on our renos
5. Not selling as much online as I hoped
6. Watching someone close to me get taken advantage of
7. Not being able to continue with counselling due to my crazy work schedule
8. Still not having a plan confirmed for next year's renovation project
9. Drifting apart from longtime friends
10. Not feeling connected at church

8 Things I've Learned
1. Take time to take care of yourself--physically, emotionally and spiritually.  Take a nap, go out for dinner, have a phone date, go to counselling, join a small group, go to church.
2. Contractors are a dime a dozen but it's really hard to find a good one. Do your homework and don't settle for a half-ass job. Don't sign the check until you're not completely satisfied.
3. Never underestimate the power of social media. Can't get a big company or business to listen to you or take you seriously? Take it to Facebook! 
4. Don't underestimate the importance of family. Proud of how my family has rallied and taken care of each other this year. Nobody messes with my family and gets away with it.
5.  There are some perfectly rotten kids out there that make a teacher's life hell.
6. There are some really amazing kids (and a hefty paycheck) that can make it worth it.
7.  Narcissists are dangerous; they will manipulate you, stab you in the back, and suck you dry. In the end, they will destroy you if you let them. Stay away from them at all costs.
8.  I love Mr. Gryce more every day. We're almost 5 years into this relationship, and I can't imagine my life without him.

3 Things I Focused On:
1. Family
2. Finishing the inside of the house
3. Building my tutoring business

3 Things Forgotten or Not Gotten Around to:
1. Eating better and exercising more
2. Writing/blogging more
3. Keeping the house clean

Thanks for stopping by...I'm thrilled to have blog readers representing 10 different countries--that's 8 more than I've traveled to! It's been a busy year for us and we're glad to be able to share it with you all. Wishing you and yours an awesome 2015! The best is yet to come.

Friday, December 12, 2014

christmas greetings 2014

Dear Friends and Family and Blog Readers,

It’s hard to believe, but it’s that time of year again! Where does the time go?! It’s been another eventful year in our household, filled with renovations, renovations, and more renovations! We are finally enjoying some “down time” as the winter season approaches. Here’s a look at our year:

This past spring, we finished renovating our downstairs bathroom, and then launched into a full-scale renovation of the kitchen and living room. We set up our living quarters in the partially-renovated downstairs office where we worked, lived, and cooked for nearly 4 months! During this time, we had no floor in the kitchen or living room, which meant no way to get to the upstairs; we resorted to climbing in and out of the upstairs window for over a week! Once the new floor went in, we were still climbing ladders for several more months before the new staircase was built. We are thankful that this stressful time is finally over, and that we can finally enjoy the fruit of our labours. Aside from a few minor details (and some new furniture), we are happy to say that the entire interior of our house has now been fully renovated!!!

Mr. Gryce is still working as a Senior Software Developer. Last month, he started his 5th year with the company.  In addition to updating all the plumbing downstairs, Mr. Gryce spent many hours installing all new electrical wiring, outlets, and light fixtures downstairs. He’s proven to be quite the handyman! Mr. Gryce attended the annual Promise Keeper’s men’s conference in Toronto this fall. He continues to meet with Mrs. Gryce’s brother for their Friday night men’s group. In the New Year, he hopes to get involved with the men’s group at our church as well.

Mrs. Gryce continues to work as an emergency supply teacher with the local public school board. She has been working 2-4 days per week, in addition to tutoring 8 different students in the evenings.  She tutored from home all summer (or rather, from her mom’s home, due to our renovations). Mrs. Gryce enjoys visiting thrift stores and still sells all sorts of items online, including her homemade jam and preserves.

This past April, we attended Jon & Veronica’s wedding in Hamilton and had the opportunity for a short visit with several of Mrs. Gryce’s university friends as well. In August, we celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary. We spent a weekend in Niagara Falls (first time for both of us), with our friends Jon & Mel.  It was great to get away from renovations and see the sights, as well as spend some quality time with great friends.

We are currently part of a small group that meets on Thursday nights at our church. It’s been a great opportunity to learn as well as meet new people and get more connected with our church family.

We wish you all a very Merry Christmas, and many blessings for 2015.

Love, Mr & Mrs Gryce

(To read last year's greeting, go here.)